Officials say tornado that touched down in Gaylord was EF-3 with max winds of 150 mph

At least 2 killed, 44 injured

Damage from a May 20, 2022, tornado in the Gaylord area.

GAYLORD, Mich. – Officials have confirmed the tornado that touched down in Gaylord on Friday was an EF-3 with maximum winds of around 150 mph.

At least two people were killed and 44 others were hurt during the storm, according to officials.

Both victims who were killed were residents of a Gaylord mobile home park. They were in their 70s, officials said.

The National Weather Service said the tornado moved through Gaylord at 3:48 p.m. Friday. It was on the ground for about 26 minutes, NSW officials said. The damage to homes, vehicles, and businesses was severe.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency.

About 9,000 people are without power statewide, according to Consumer Energy.

How rare was this tornado?

To have a tornado this strong that far north in Michigan is rare. According to the data, there have only been four other tornadoes that far north in the state of Michigan with a rating of EF-3 (or F-3) or greater:

  • July 3, 1974: F3 tornado hit parts of Ostego county west of Gaylord.
  • July 11, 1987: F3 tornado was on the ground for a very long time from near Iron Mountain to near Manistique.
  • July 4, 1986: F3 tornado hit parts of Menominee county west of Escanaba.
  • May 28, 1991: F3 tornado briefly on the ground in southern Menominee county.

It’s also worth noting there was an F-4 tornado that traveled from just north of Eastlake to the Grand Traverse Bay back on April 3, 1956, but this is further south than Gaylord.

Pictures that show the aftermath of a tornado that touched down in the Gaylord area on May 20, 2022.

At least 12 homes were demolished by the tornado.

At least one person has died and 44 others were injured when a tornado touched down in Gaylord, Michigan on Friday, according to Gaylord Mayor Todd Sharrad. Michigan State Police and Mayor Sharrad say the tornado first hit in a mobile home park and continued in about a two to three-mile span through the commercial corridor seen in the video player above.

Below is a statement from Whitmer about the state of emergency:

I have declared a state of emergency for Otsego County to rush resources to the affected areas, and the State Emergency Operations Center has been activated to coordinate our state’s response. Our state is grateful for the first responders and utility workers who are working hard to keep everyone safe. Michiganders are tough. We are resilient. And there’s no challenge we can’t get through together.

Gov. Gretechen Whitmer

Check out: Pictures, videos show considerable damage from tornado in Gaylord area


About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.